Apple iPod nano (2012)
The smallest proper iPod gets a video-friendly screen, Lightning and Bluetooth
- Compact, smart design
- Bluetooth 4.0 is useful
- Missing features from previous nano
- Screen isn't great for video
Apple's constantly-reinvented iPod nano gets a video-friendly screen and Bluetooth in its latest update. It's a user-friendly device as portable media players go, although it's missing a few features we liked on previous incarnations.
Price$ 169.00 (AUD)
The ever-evolving iPod nano is in its seventh regeneration now, with an announcement alongside the iPhone 5 and iPod touch that promised a redesign around a new 2.5-inch widescreen display, Bluetooth, a pedometer and Lightning.
The iOS-lite operating system hasn’t changed greatly since the last nano, and neither has the internal hardware. So does a bigger screen and wireless connectivity make the nano more appealing?
Apple iPod nano (2012): Design and features
Our test 16GB iPod nano — that’s the only size available — came in an emerald green finish, although black, pink, blue, silver, yellow and PRODUCT (RED) finishes are also available.
In lieu of an in-line volume control on the bundled EarPods, the new iPod nano has a multi-function control on the player’s top left side, where you’d find the volume and mute switch on an iPhone. The multifunction centre button serves to skip, pause and play tracks, and it’s intuitive without offering a confusing array of options.
The power button is on the player’s top, and there’s a simple Home button on the lower front bezel. It doesn’t have the same functionality as a full iOS interface like the iPod touch’s or iPhone’s — apart from unlocking the device and powering up the screen, its only other feature is a triple-click that can invert the screen’s colour (for accessibility) or turn on VoiceOver.
The new nano is thinner than the previous incarnation, and is now the thinnest iPod around — just 5.4mm thick, in part enabled by the abandonment of the integrated rear clip. The move to the thinner and more compact Lightning connector is also necessary — there’s simply not enough room for the old 30-pin socket and a headphone port on the nano’s lower panel. There’s also a white plastic panel that hides the Bluetooth antenna — the aluminium case is otherwise impervious to radio waves.
Apple iPod nano (2012): Usage and performance
The iPod nano’s interface is very simple, and relies on you adding music, video, podcasts and photos through a connected computer running iTunes — there’s no Wi-Fi inbuilt, and the nano can’t run any iOS apps anyway.
The interface runs on swipes, moving through menus and across the nano’s home screen to access different features. The main screen holds Music, Videos, Fitness, Podcasts, Photos, and Radio, with a second screen showing the Clock and Settings icons. You can customise the layout like on other iOS devices.
As a portable music player, the iPod nano is simple and perfectly usable. Load your music on via iTunes — we took the opportunity to purchase Channel ORANGE by Frank Ocean — and then hit the Music icon to be presented with the traditional iPod touchscreen music interface.
The nano is able to power the bundled EarPods headphones to uncomfortably loud levels, which is more than it should ever need to do. If you value your hearing, you’ll buy better headphones before maxing out the volume with cheap ones.
We also sync’d the iPod nano’s Bluetooth connection to a pair of Denon AH-NCW500 wireless headphones, and used them for a few hours of cable-free playback. The connection process is as simple as you’d expect from an Apple product. We were able to move around within a roughly five metre range of the nano while maintaining a strong connection, and within around ten metres the connection was mostly reliable.
The iPod nano’s screen is bright, but with a 430x242 pixel resolution (202ppi) it’s not especially detailed. It’s OK for watching TV shows and movies, but you won’t get a particularly cinematic experience. We also found we tended to hold the screen up close to see what was going on, which might look a bit weird on a crowded bus.
It’s also important to note that the nano won’t play HD TV shows or movies that are downloaded from the iTunes store — you’ll need to purchase the standard definition versions to transfer to the iPod nano, since iTunes doesn’t automatically downscale video in the sync process.
We did notice that the new iPod nano hasn’t re-added the features from our much-loved 2010, fifth-generation model — there’s no camera, no microphone, no speaker or alarm clock function. These aren’t really important on such a small iPod since most buyers will have a larger phone that does the job, but it does make the nano slightly less appealing to a small part of the market.
Apple iPod nano (2012): Conclusion
The iPod nano serves its role as a portable music player well. The addition of Bluetooth is convenient, and the new screen suits the common widescreen video aspect ratio — as long as you don’t try to sync HD TV shows or movies.
Apple’s nano hasn’t always gone forward in its evolutionary process — it’s shed some features throughout its short history — but the current model is perfectly capable at the tasks it’s been assigned.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 3 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
Latest News Articles
- Apple TV will serve as hub for remotely controlling HomeKit devices
- Sony Smart B-Trainer headset gives runners vocal advice
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
- Apple shows off iPod touch, nano updates
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTField Hardware Deployment EngineerNSW
- TPJunior Software DeveloperQLD
- FTProject AnalystVIC
- FTSystem EngineersVIC
- FTERP Reporting AnalystNSW
- CCSecurity ManagerACT
- CCSolution Designer (Teradata) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTBusiness Development ManagerVIC
- CCProject MangerWA
- CCDomino SpecialistVIC
- FTHadoop Service AdministratorVIC
- TPSAP Data Migration LeadQLD
- FTProject Manager, FinanceNSW
- CCChange LeadNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Forecasting SASNSW
- CCSenior Teradata Developer/Analyst Programmer - Financial - Contract - ParramattaNSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- FTTechnical Business Analyst- Systems & Network -Telco backgroundNSW
- FTSCCM AdministratorACT
- FTApplication Support LeadQLD
- CCSenior Network Designer - CiscoVIC
- FTBusiness Development Manager -Wealth/Funds Management SoftwareVIC
- FTAgile TesterNSW
- FTBusiness Consultant - HR / PayrollWA